May 22nd, 2013
Springfield, IL — Twenty concerned citizens occupied Illinois Governor Pat. Quinn’s office Tuesday to protest his support of a state bill to regulate hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” After being refused a request for a meeting to discuss the matter with the Governor, three people locked arms and sat down in the middle of the entrance to the Governor’s office to demand that the Governor meet with affected communities to discuss the need for a moratorium on the practice, and that he rethink his support of state bill 1715, a bill to regulate fracking. One person refused to leave and was arrested. Governor Quinn has publicly stated that he intends to sign the bill once it has passed through the senate and house.
Hydraulic fracturing is a method for obtaining oil and gas in which large amounts of fresh water, sand and chemicals are combined and forced down a well to fracture underground shale rock to release otherwise trapped fossil fuels. Air and water pollution have been linked to fracking in states like Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The occupation of the governor’s office was part of a day of action that included a press conference, legislative committee testimony, and citizen lobbying. Citizens came from all over the state to voice their discontent with plans to allow fracking in Illinois.